The joy of my life visited this weekend and we totally rocked it! Mia, my 2-year old granddaughter, was in awe of all that Seattle had to offer an active toddler. From traversing rope ladders to waterfront walks to water stomping, I savored every moment we had together exploring downtown Seattle from our base in lower Queen Anne.
Our backyard is the Seattle Center. Lucky us! Thom and I enjoy it every day when we walk the dogs but it was delightful for visiting Mia. Between the Space Needle, International Fountain, Children’s Museum, Artists at Play playground, EMP, Pacific Science Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, the Armory filled with yummy restaurants and a wading pool tucked away by Key Arena, the Seattle Center holds a treasure trove of experiences for kids of ALL ages.
To start the holiday weekend, we strolled downtown and stopped by Westlake Park where they have done an outstanding job adding play equipment, a reading library, and games that everyone from a two-year old to a “seasoned” adult can enjoy. Mia the Magnificent would highly recommend the geodome climbing experience and the bean bag toss. Lunch time at Blue Water Taco Grill was delicious with fish tacos, burritos and lots of chips and guacamole to share. Next up, I had to return some books so the children’s area at the Seattle Library was just the ticket with a friendly librarian offering crayons and encouraging us to take home free books. Perfect for visiting toddlers! They must get lots of donations because they had books to spare. A large puzzle area kept Mia engrossed and provided needed rest time for the adults after our walk.
We saved the Children’s Museum at the Seattle Center for first thing Saturday morning. Thank goodness we had a big breakfast because we were running our asses off after Mia from one cool area to the next as she played fireman, bus driver, sailor and grocery shopper with gleeful abandon. Ah to be young! There were “humongous”, as Mia would describe it, blocks to put together, which Thom couldn’t resist, and a train table where Mia and I had an intense building experience to lay out the tracks for our cars.
Sunday morning we braved the cruise ship crowds as they disembarked along the sidewalk on our waterfront walk past Sculpture Park and then waded through Pike Place Market. Using the stroller to plow our way through the tourists (yes, I am a jaded “townie” who wants them all to get the #&@! out of my way), we sampled fresh pears, jerky, jams, etc. as we walked and admired the fresh flower bouquets. Gorgeous but they weigh a ton and you have to haul them home on foot so, alas, no flowers for me. After a brief stop for Hannah and Mike to get a growler of Rachel’s Ginger Beer for Moscow mules later at home-parents sometimes need a stiff adult beverage-we grabbed a cookie as big as a platter at one of the bakeries across from the market to snack on and made our way to the Monorail. Always fun, the Monorail is a quick ride from downtown, dropping us off at the Seattle Center. Again, packed with tourists, but I was nice and not TOO pushy getting on and getting a good seat to show Mia the urban scenery on the ride home.
Later, after much-needed naps (and perhaps a nip or two of wine by the weary adults, okay me), we were back at the Seattle Center again to check out the new humongous playground by the EMP. With an area for big kids but also one designated for 2-5 year olds equipped with climbing ropes and a slide, Mia kept us busy making sure she wasn’t plunging to the turf and then racing over to try out the super cool swings and musical pipes to bang on.
After wearing us out on the playground, we decided to stroll down to South Lake Union and stomp away the afternoon on the water pad. What a joyful experience that was with water jets spraying us as we ran through them. Soaked and tired, we somehow climbed the Mercer hill home to spend a quiet evening watching Cars and having just a few pillow fights. Sadly, we kissed our Mia good-bye today. Thom cried just a little bit and is already asleep on the couch. I’m not too far behind him. Being a GiGi and NaiNai is hard work!